In a rematch of their play-in tournament clash last season, the Golden State Warriors will meet the Memphis Grizzlies at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Thursday. The hungry-for-more Grizzlies will try strive to end Golden State's unbeaten start to the 2021-22 campaign.
If the preseason is considered, the team from the Bay Area is unbeaten in nine games. That is impressive, especially if one considers that Stephen Curry and co have dominated teams without Klay Thompson. The Warriors have shot 38.1% from downtown this season, while limiting their opponents to 34.6%.
Although the Warriors have traded 56 threes with opponent teams, they have had more blocks, assists, rebounds, steals and free throws. Steve Kerr's team have epitomized the importance of converting free throws, something Frank Vogel and his struggling LA Lakers need to learn quickly.
Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies started their campaign strongly by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers and the LA Clippers. However, they slumped to consecutive losses, against the LA Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers, in their next two games.
Memphis Grizzlies Injury Report
The Grizzlies have been aggressive in offense, which raises the potential for injuries. Fortunately, the team has not yet incurred any on-court injuries this season. The only injury that has left them troubled occurred before preseason when Dillon Brooks fractured his hand. One of the key scorers and defenders for the Memphis Grizzlies, Brooks is expected to return within a week.
Golden State Warriors Injury Report
The Golden State Warriors are undeniably a powerhouse. Over the last two seasons, they have played without one of their best players, Kaly Thompson, who remains on the sidelines. He is not expected to return this year, so he is a constant on their list of injured players.
Meanwhile, Jonathan Kuminga and James Wiseman, who are yet to play a single game this season, are still recovering from injuries. They are also out for the matchup with the Grizzlies.
On a positive note, Andre Iguodala, who missed the game against the Sacramento Kings, will return to play against Memphis. Iguodala's defensive presence could prove to be a great asset for the Warriors.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors: Predicted Lineups
Memphis are offensively strong. With Ja Morant in form, they seem unstoppable. However, Brooks is still missing from the squad. In his absence, the Grizzlies are playing virtually without their second-best scorer.
With Brooks out, Desmond Bane could start in the frontcourt alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams. Their backcourt could feature guards Ja Morant and De'Anthony Melton.
Golden State Warriors
Golden State's current lineup is working well, as they are yet to lose a game this season. So coach Kerr could continue using the same starting 5 for this game too. Stephen Curry should start alongside Jordan Poole as the team's guard, while Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Looney manage the brunt of the frontcourt.
Iguodala, Damion Lee and Nemanja Bjelica could be crucial rotation players coming off the bench against the Grizzlies.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors: Predicted starting 5s
Point Guard - Ja Morant | Shooting Guard - De'Anthony Melton | Small Forward - Desmond Bane | Power Forward - Jaren Jackson Jr. | Center - Steven Adams.
Golden State Warriors
Point Guard - Stephen Curry | Shooting Guard - Jordan Poole | Small Forward - Andrew Wiggins | Power Forward - Draymond Green | Center - Kevin Looney.